Rehr Asks Apple To Add FM To iPods
WASHINGTON — April 13, 2009: Nearly all MP3 players and an ever-growing number of cellphones can receive over-the-air FM radio, but Apple continues to be a high-profile holdout. Now NAB President/CEO David Rehr has written to Apple COO Timothy Cook to urge the electronics maker, "as a recognized leader in both the mobile phone and portable music player arenas," to begin including FM radio capability in iPhones and iPods.
Rehr notes that some mobile phones now include an integrated FM antenna and don’t need a wired headset or connections to external speakers, and that some Bluetooth circuits now include FM radio capability, meaning there’s no need to make room for an FM receiver in the mobile phone’s case. He also points out that the NAB will be demonstrating the new Motorola ROKR EM35, with an integrated FM antenna, at the NAB Show this month in Las Vegas.
As he has done in letters to other mobile execs, Rehr spells out for Cook some of the benefits of including FM radio in devices, saying it is a "value-added and low-cost feature" that consumers appreciate; a source of incremental revenue from song tagging that leads to sales; a source for emergency alerts that doesn’t involve the mobile infrastructure; and a potential source of promotion for new phones and media players with FM capability.
Rehr says the U.S. lags behind the rest of the world in mobile phones sold with FM Radio, but tells Cook, "With Apple as our partner, I am confident that we will be successful in convincing the U.S. mobile network carriers and their customers that FM radio is an indispensable feature for their mobile phones. Also, the radio industry would enthusiastically provide significant public promotion of FM-enabled Apple iPhones and iPods."